Own The Glass
“Turn your opponent over and force them into bad shots.” WVU’s done it all year, why stop now?
“Shoot better than your opponent.” Sounds doable.
It’s not about just putting the ball through the hoop and getting defensive stops, though. The way West Virginia’s managed to win different types of games is poetic.
They dominated the glass against Bucknell and pulled down 17 offensive rebounds. They only hauled in 10 against the Irish, but we can attribute that to their bump in field-goal percentage. Both numbers were advantages over their opponents, but the ‘Eers won the overall rebounding battle too. They out-rebounded Bucknell and Notre Dame by a combined 16 rebounds. That’s incredible.
However, Gonzaga is no slouch in the rebounding department. They’re averaging 14.5 offensive rebounds per tournament game, albeit playing lesser competition in South Dakota State and Northwestern. This should be a sign for the Mountaineers that Gonzaga means business.
“Win the rebounding battle.” This will no doubt be of great importance to Huggins, but he’ll need his team to gang rebound. Four players (Adrian, Ahmad, Carter and Macon) had six or more rebounds against Bucknell in the opening round. Hopefully big-men Sagabe Konate and Brandon Watkins can give the lineup a jolt of energy when they come in to try and slow Gonzaga’s board attack.
All things considered, Thursday’s game should be an exciting one. Can the ‘Eers get to the Elite Eight? We’ll find out Thursday on TBS when No. 4-seed West Virginia takes on No. 1-seeded Gonzaga. Tip-off is set for 7:39 p.m.